Thousands of people pass through Melbourne’s Flagstaff railway station each day, but I doubt any of them notice the little used walkway tucked way on the upper level.
Once upon a time even I didn’t notice it, until I realised it made a great vantage point to observe the ever-increasing Myki queues during morning peak.
So imagine my surprise last week when on my way home from work I discovered a keyboardist setup on the walkway, along with a few other musicians.
On my way home yesterday evening the same keyboardist was back with the same gang of collaborators, but this time with a row of seats facing towards the void. So what gives?
A minute or two searching through Google turned up the answer – it’s a performance piece titled fifteen, which forms part of the Next Wave Festival which is currently running in Melbourne. Rehearsals presumably happened last week, with performances occurring during evening peak hour from May 21 to 25.
So what is it supposed to represent? Art critic Jane Howard has the following to say on her blog:
While she says you can’t notice the work unless you are an audience member listening to the music on headphones, through rehearsal of the work in the public space the artists have been engaging with pedestrians who don’t normally interact with the artistic process. At first, she said, people shut off, but now they are starting to get used to it, and a more congenital atmosphere runs through the space.
I guess it’s something different!
On Friday night I passed through Flagstaff Station during the middle of the final performance. It appears as well as music, the piece involves a number of dancers down at concourse level.